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New York State holding $9 billion in unclaimed money

BY SAMUEL GOLDSMITH
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Thursday, December 25th 2008, 3:55 PM

Santa has come and gone, but the stocking stuffer of a lifetime is still out there for some lucky New Yorkers.

The state controller’s office is holding $9 billion in unclaimed cash for an untold number of New York residents—some of whom are sitting on over $1 million each, and don’t even know it.

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The top unclaimed account—held by someone in a city suburb—totals $1.7 million. Two more unknowing millionaires somewhere in the five boroughs have $1.4 and $1 million respectively.

The top 10 clueless cashholders in the city have a total of $6.8 million, ranging from $1.4 million to $345,000. Statewide, there are 23 million unclaimed accounts.

The money comes from bank dividends, insurance payments, court settlements, tax rebates and a number of other sources.

The controller holds the money – and collects 3% annual—until it’s claimed. The right to make a claim never expires.

Officials won’t disclose the names or exact locations of the oblivious richies, but all you need to find out if you’re one of them is the Internet

If there is, just mail in the printable application and your check will arrive in the mail. Seventy percent of claims are recovered using the Web.

There is no fee to reclaim the money. Some private companies search the records on your behalf for a 15%, but the controller’s office says their access to the funds is no different than yours.

Not all claims are in the seven digit range. Most – about 60%—are less than $100, but some lucky New Yorkers have hit the big time.

Earlier this year, someone claimed $4 million in stocks he had no idea existed.

The state has dished out $194 million to some 9 million searchers in the past year.

Original Post: http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/12/25/2008-12-25newyorkstateholding9billioninuncl.html

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